Naadu review: A moving story about healthcare in the interiors of Tamil Nadu

'Naadu' is inspired by a real-life incident. Therefore, not surprisingly, you will instantly relate to the proceedings on screen.

ByManigandan KR

Published:Nov 30, 2023

A poster of the film Naadu
A touching tale!

Naadu (Tamil)

  • Cast: Tharshan, Mahima Nambiar, RS Sivaji, Singam Puli, Arul Doss, Inba Ravikumar, and Vasantha
  • Director: M Saravanan
  • Producers: Chakra and Raj
  • Music: C Sathya
  • Runtime: 2 hours 7 minutes

Director M Saravanan, best known for the critically acclaimed superhit film Engeyum Eppothum (2011), is back with another masterpiece this time — Naadu, which will leave you moved.

Saravanan’s speciality is that his stories are all rooted in realism, and Naadu (Nation) is no different.

The story teleports you to the scenic Kolli hills and makes you understand how privileged those living in towns and cities are.

It has a lasting impact on you without turning preachy. The impact is so profound that it makes you appreciate the luxuries people here take for granted.


M Saravanan directorial Naadu

M Saravanan directorial ‘Naadu’. (X)

Naadu is set in a small village atop scenic mountains far away from the maddening bustle of cities and towns. Peace reigns in the region, and the villagers are a close-knit community.

All is well here, except for the fact that these people have no access to hospitals or doctors.

The village has a Primary Health Centre, but no doctor wants to be posted there. Doctors or medical personnel posted by the government to the PHC invariably find a way to leave the place within a week of arrival.

With no access to transportation or medicine, the locals continue to suffer in silence.

After suffering for years, they decide to pool money to educate one of their children to become a doctor and eventually serve at their PHC.

However, that dream is brutally crushed by NEET.

When they are on the verge of giving up hope, the district collector (Arul Doss) posts his daughter, a young lady, to the PHC at the village. When she protests and asks for a transfer, he insists that she first serve there for a week.

The collector tells the villagers that if this young doctor (he does not disclose that she is his daughter) seeks a transfer, he can do nothing.

So, the villagers go out of their way to make the doctor feel at home. What they do and how they win her heart is what the film is all about.

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Inspired by true events

Naadu is inspired by a real-life incident. Therefore, not surprisingly, you will instantly relate to the proceedings on screen.

Each time the young doctor saves a life, each time she gives advice that eventually turns out to be life-saving, you find yourself rejoicing and experiencing a sense of gladness that there is someone to help the poor and the helpless.

This feeling you experience is primarily because of how the soulful story is narrated and the brilliant performances of a capable cast.


Tharshan in Naadu

Tharshan in ‘Naadu’. (X)

Mahima Nambiar, a powerhouse of talent in Tamil cinema, lives the part of the young doctor.

A doctor’s role is not easy to portray. Wealthy and powerful on the one hand but kind, considerate and knowledgeable on the other, the doctor is a paradox.

However, Mahima easily slips into this character and effortlessly makes a mark.

Tharshan, who spearheads the movement to get a doctor to the PHC, is equally impressive. His simple, soft-spoken, and altruistic nature makes him highly likeable.

Tharshan delivers a commendable performance as the man who will go to any extent for the sake of his village.

Late actor RS Sivaji, who plays two roles — one as Tharshan’s father and then as his uncle — touches your heart with his fine performances.

Singam Puli and Arul Doss contribute to this clean, neat, meaningful, and enjoyable entertainer.

Sakthivel’s visuals are a treat.

Sathya’s music is apt.

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Final take

Naadu makes several significant points about life. It gently yet powerfully showcases the selfless nature of those still living in remote areas and underlines that medical care is still a distant dream to many who live on the fringes of society.

To sum it up, Naadu is a very fulfilling and satisfying film.

(Views expressed here are personal.)